The Gloucester County Board of Commissioners and the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office is committed to our elderly and disabled community and offers Project Lifesaver to protect those who wander due to Alzheimer’s Syndrome, Autism, Down Syndrome, dementia and other cognitive impairment.
Project Lifesaver was started in 1999 as a local entity in Chesapeake, VA. It is a community- based, public safety non-profit organization, providing law enforcement, fire and rescue, and caregivers the first program of its kind using locating technology in search and rescue.
“Wandering is a common and dangerous action of individuals with a dementia-related illness, as well as cognitive disorders such as autism. Someone who wanders can quickly become disoriented, unable to return to safety or not know how, or who, to call for help,” said Commissioner Director Robert M. Damminger.
Project Lifesaver allows caregivers to register their relative with dementia or autism and have those afflicted wear a wrist or ankle transmitter that emits a tracking signal.
- The prospective User:
- Must have been diagnosed by a doctor with Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, autism, dementia, or other similar disability that renders him/her prone to wandering.
- Must reside in Gloucester County, in a private residence, with a 24-hour live-in caregiver who is over the age of 18.
- Must not reside in a licensed facility.
“Sheriff Carmel M. Morina’s Project Lifesaver Team is specially trained, not only in search and rescue and the use of the electronic tracking equipment, but also in the methods necessary to communicate with a person who has Alzheimer’s or related disabilities,” said Deputy Director Frank J. DiMarco, liaison to the Sherriff’s Office.
“Locating the individual is only part of the mission,” said Sheriff Carmel M. Morina. “The person who is located will be disoriented, anxious, and untrusting. The Sheriff’s Project Lifesaver Team knows how to approach the person, gain their trust, and put them at ease for the trip home.”
Participants in the Project Lifesaver Program wear a one-ounce battery operated radio wrist transmitter that emits a tracking signal every second, 24 hours a day. The signal can be tracked on the ground for one mile or in the air for five miles. The Project Lifesaver bracelet is also offered to qualified Autistic children.
Anyone who has a friend or relative with Alzheimer’s, or a disability where a patient might be prone to wander away, can contact the Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver Program at 856-384-4625 or visit https://www.gloucestercountynj.gov/1124/Project-Lifesaver.
Bracelets are available to clients who qualify.